Oct 162012

Let’s start this day at NCS with a contrast — two new songs from forthcoming albums that are on opposite ends of the speed spectrum. The first comes from a new Finnish band — Kuolemanlaakso — whose members include some names I’m pretty sure most of you will recognize. The second is from a new release by a French band — Destinity — whose last album I really liked and whose new one is also sounding excellent.


This band’s Finnish name means “Death Valley”. It began as a one-man project of guitarist Markus Laakso (Chaosweaver). After recording a handful of demo tracks, he recruited a group of additional musicians to flesh out the band:  vocalist Mikko Kotamäki (Swallow the Sun, Barren Earth), guitarist Savon Surma (“Kouta”) (Chaosweaver, ex-Verjnuarmu), bassist Tuomo Räisänen (“Usva”) (Elenium, The Nibiruan), and drummer Toni Ronkainen (“Tiera”) (Discard, Cult of Endtime).

Together they recorded an album at Woodshed Studio in Germany with V. Santura of Triptykon and Dark Fortress fame, who also mixed and mastered the music. The album is named Uljas uusi maailma (“Brave New World”) and it’s now scheduled for release by Svart Records on November 23. The cover art by Maahy Abdul Muhsin is a real eye-catcher — it’s right after the jump.

Today, the band released a music video for a track named “Minä elän”, which means “I live”, if Google Translate is to be trusted. It was directed by Sami Jämsen, who may or may not be the same Sami Jämsen who is the guitarist for a killer band named Survivors Zero. The atmosphere undoubtedly has something to do with it, but the video makes snails seem like emissaries of Cthulhu.

The song is a stripped-down, hook-filled, doom-metal crusher with a dark, keyboard-enhanced melody. Mikko Kotamäki sticks with wholly harsh vocals on this track, though it’s a mix of raspiness (which gives the song a “blackened” air) and his familiar roaring. Good stuff.  Headbang to this and leave reactions in the comments.




I discovered this long-running French band only through their last album, XI Reasons To See (2010). That album was a bit of a stylistic mix, but I thought it was a real powerhouse assault. Lifeforce Records is now set to release the band’s 8th album, Resolve In Crimson, on November 19 in Europe and a day later in North America. As you can see, the cover art by Strychneen Studio is killer.

Today, the band debuted the first song from the album, “Aiming A Fist In Enmity”, and it sure sent a high-voltage charge through my head. It’s a highly infectious, thrash-paced blast of melodic death metal that sounds huge and hits hard.

I would add that sample clips from all the songs on the album are now streaming at the following location:


So if the YouTube clip below appeals to you, check out the balance of Resolve In Crimson. Looks like the whole album will become available for digital download at that same location on November 16.




  1. I listened to the Kuolemanlaakso’s song earlier today and kinda liked it. Perhaps mostly because it demonstrated the brutality which comes from Kotamäki’s vocals sung in Finnish, which again were pretty damn neat.. Also, to be a total dipshit, the name ‘Kuolemanlaakso’ actually means Death’s Valley / Valley of Death.

  2. Really like what I’m hearing from Destiny. I just wish their label posted the whole songs for preview, instead of just enough to get me fired up followed by a deflating fadeout.

  3. Kuolemanlaakso sounds pretty stellar; hearing Mikko in a stripped-down doom/blackish style of this band in stead of the much more layered and polished StS/Barren Earth is a nice change. I’ll definitely keep an eye open for this release; although it would be impossible to impress me more than StS’ release from this year.

    At first I thought Destinity sounded very generic; and although I still think they do sound like every other melodeath band, the song was really good. So I’m afraid I have to give the album a try once it comes out.

    • Destinity’s style is indeed very familiar, but I had the same reaction — I thought the song was a really good one, it sounded great, and it reminded me how much I still enjoy listening to this kind of melodic death metal. I’ve been disappointed in the last releases from a few of the Scandinavian greats, and this album could help fill that hole.

      • Hopefully it will. Indeed, most of the ‘traditional’ melodic death metal albums have been disappointing lately. It seems that the most interesting releases come from bands that take a more progressive approach to melodeath, which actually makes them belong a different genre (I mean bands like Omnium Gatherum or In Mourning). But yeah, melodic death metal really needs releases such as this one might prove to be to save the relevance of the genre.

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